Midsummer, one of my favorite times of the year because it is full of melons, plums, nectarines, and peaches. It’s the best time to plan a fall vegetable strategy. It is also the time to start planning your fall garden before the days grow too short and the nights too cold. Here are the steps you should take to make sure your fall vegetables are successful and some of my favorite fall vegetables to plant.
Remove diseased and pest infested plants for a fall vegetables strategy.
Using compost in your garden and having a compost bin is a must for serious gardeners. However, when the material used is full of diseases or non beneficial insects, you can be hurting your garden. Yes, there are ways to use diseased leaves in your compost, but it takes experience and attention. Considering we lose 10% of the vegetables in the US to root rot, I would argue we are not successful with the practice. The safest way to move forward successfully is to remove it from your garden and compost pile.
Make sure transplants and seeds are in the ground early enough in the year.
This planting calendar is a great resource from The Old Farmer’s Almanac. It is simple to use. Just enter a zip code, and it will show you the optimum dates to start seeds and transplants.
Develop A Strategy To Protect Your Plants From Early Cold Weather.
Hoop houses and plastic sheeting is not just for professional growers. Be ready for early bad weather by using a few of these simple techniques to protect your plants. Here is an excellent article on plastic sheeting from Agri-Valley Irrigation.
Here are four of my favorite fall vegetables to plant:
Grab some starters from your local nursery and get them in the ground right away. Most lettuce is ready to eat in 45 to 55 days. Lettuce makes a great garden border (think boxwood here), and if you space your plantings a few weeks apart, you will stagger your harvest times. Lettuce grows best when feeding it with composted organic matter about one week before you seed or transplant. Help your lettuce along by fertilizing about three weeks after you transplant.
Carrots are such a beginners garden basic, most stay away from this easy to grow vegetable. Put your gardening pride on hold a second and think back to how good your homegrown carrots taste right out of the garden.
Carrots are difficult to transplant so starting with seeds is essential. Thin your carrots when they get two inches high, to one inch apart. After two more weeks thin them to three to four inches apart. Use Jain Mini Pep emitterline to grow the best tasting carrots while keeping your inputs, like water and fertilizer at a minimum.
Scallions are an excellent companion plant for deeper rooted carrots and lettuce. Use seeds for scallions and you need to keep the soil moist after the first watering until the seedlings show, which should be in 10-20 days. Once they are established and need one inch of water about a week, your first scallions should be ready to go in eight to ten weeks.
Fall also means excellent sports. The Baseball season will declare a world champion, and football is kicking off. This means lots of salsa is needed for the next few months. The thought of a salsa garden is most sports fan’s fantasy garden.
Hopefully, you still have tomatoes on the vine and peppers and onions will be a great addition. Buy peppers at your local nursery. Look for plants that are four to six inches tall. Space your plants about 1.5 feet apart and your rows 36 inches apart. Your first peppers should be ready to go in eight to ten weeks.
These are just of few of many vegetables you can grow in the fall. They are easy to plant, easy to nurture, and provide a flavorful return on your investment of energy and time. They are all hearty enough to make it all the way to Thanksgiving, where they can contribute to your family table. Quality and taste come from each step of the growing process. When you control every step, you are in the best position to have the healthiest and best-tasting vegetables on the table. Here is another article that you may like to plan for winter’s vegetable strategy.